Reel Talk

Reel Talk

Digital Curators and Creators

Instagram’s Reels have been unrolling on our phones for past couple of months now, but what do people think? We asked participants on the September Diaries project what they thought, a couple of weeks after the launch. Here’s what they fed back. 

Many TikTok regulars call out the rip-off: 

‘I think reels are just a complete rip off of TikTok, and I’m yet to see a single one that isn’t simply a repost of something that’s already been posted on TikTok!’ 

Female, 21 Glasgow

But if you haven’t been a part of the ByteDance movement, then its new for you, and it works:

‘My initial thought was “wow insta are really eager to take over wherever they can” but thinking about it, it’s really clever. For me I enjoy Reels as I don’t use TikTok and short comedic content is always a great method to use to help break up my day.’ 

Male, 20 Nottingham

If one thing is for defs: get the watermark gone if you’re crossposting.

‘I think they are pretty much the same, I have seen a lot of TikTokers just put their videos again on Reels, even with the watermarks on, I mean, really?’ 

Female, 25 Bristol

It seems generally there is a mixed reception. As is often the case with the introduction of a new layout or feature on a much loved platform. It seems the biggest appeal is for those gram users who hadn’t made it onto Tik-Tok, but still enjoy the short, sharp, digestible medium of content. Zellenials (oh yeeeep) keep you’re eyes reeled.

‘Reels won’t take over from Tik Tok. If Tik Tok fails and dies for other reasons (eg the company is VERY unethical even for a social media giant) then maybe people will start to use them but it’s kind of too little too late like youtube adding stories I think basically copying major features from your competitors rarely creates lasting impact on the social media landscape.’

Non Binary, 24 Liverpool

‘mostly in that it uses your previous searches to tailor certain ads to your own taste, it’s like an automatic filter. I am on Instagram but don’t engage with reels or TikTok – I have seen a couple of funny ones here and there but don’t use it often at all!’

Male, 19 Newport

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